Why Is He Flaunting His Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  There is often a perception that a man who is having an affair will do everything in his power to keep his wife from finding out.  People assume that he will cover his tracks, delete his texts, and perhaps even have a separate phone for his wife and for the other woman.

Some men are exactly this sneaky.  But not all men.  There are a small subset of men who seem to not care if their wife finds out about the affair.  In fact, some of them almost leave clues for her to follow.  And some wives will tell you that not only did he not hide the affair, he actually flaunted it.  Someone might say: “my husband never really tried to camouflage his affair.  He kept his phone right on the counter when she would text him.  He wouldn’t announce that he was seeing someone else when he would go out, but he wouldn’t make excuses for himself either.  He’d just not come home or he’d come home when he knew that I was asleep.  When I finally asked him if he was having an affair, his response was: ‘well it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?’  He never apologized.  He never offered to break it off.  Now that I know about her, he’s completely honest when he informs me who he is with.  He doesn’t willingly talk about her, but he doesn’t change the subject either.  He will leave gifts for her on the counter.  He’ll get all dressed up and hum to himself when he is on his way to see her.  I find this to be incredibly insensitive and I do not understand why he is doing this.  Why would a man flaunt his affair?”

I admittedly do not know your husband, but I do have some theories as to why some men feel the need to flaunt their extra curricular activities.  I will discuss them below.

As Pay Back For Something:  Many husbands make every attempt to justify an affair.  The most common reason I find that a man will flaunt his cheating is when his wife has cheated on him previously.  In this case, he WANTS her to know.  He’s hoping that she will find out.  He can’t wait until the day that she realizes that he has paid her back. This is his way of saying “two can play that game.”  Or “see, there are other women out there who will want me if you don’t.”

And even if the wife has not previously cheated, he may still be trying to pay her back for some perceived slight.  He may still be trying to show her that he’s still attractive and desirable.  He may want her to feel sorry for something she has done.

He’s Deeply Involved With The Other Relationship And Doesn’t Care Who Knows It:  Sometimes, especially in the early days of an affair, people can kind of get caught up in it.  Early on, they aren’t really asking themselves where the relationship is going to go or who it is going to hurt.  So it’s easy to get caught up in the moment without tempering your actions.  His “flaunting” it can be an extension of this. And his enthusiasm may mean that he’s not spending any energy or time trying to cover his tracks.

He Just Wants To Feel Good About Himself:  Honestly, I think that the biggest reason that men have affairs is to feel positive about themselves.  As they age, slow down, or doubt themselves, they become much more vulnerable to an affair.  Starting a new relationship proves to them that they are still in the game.  In a way, flaunting the relationship is trying to show YOU that they are still in the game.

It is almost a way of seeking your approval.  They hope that when you see how they can be desired by someone else, then they will also be desirable to you and to themselves.  I know that this need seems very silly and needy.  But it is real.

It’s not all that different from people constantly posting selfies on Facebook and being so desperate for attention and validation.  This “flaunting” behavior is along those same lines.  They are flaunting because they are desperately seeking approval, validation, and self esteem.

Yes, they are looking for these things in a way that makes them look silly and misguided, but the underlying theme is that they are motivated to act because they just don’t feel very great about themselves.  And when they start to feel better, they want everyone to know.

If someone had an affair, but no one knew, then the validation and boost in self esteem wouldn’t be as great.  It’s the reason that people post selfies instead of keeping them private.  If you took your own photo, but no one else saw it, the impact would not be the same, or so the thinking goes.

None of the above validates or excuses the affair.  Not by a long shot.  All of us have our struggles, but not all of us cheat.  By no means am I defending cheating husbands who have the nerve to flaunt the affair.  I am just trying to give you some insights into their flawed psychology.

It is up to you as to how you want to handle this.  Sometimes, he will eventually realize what a fool he has been.  You could certainly tell him, but he will often be defensive and ignore you.  In my own experience, I tended to work on myself when my husband was acting foolish or defensive.  There were times when you just could not have an adult conversation with him. So I learned that sometimes I had to change my focus  and place it on myself and on my own healing during these times.  I simply took myself out of the equation and did not interact at that time. Like most men, my husband was eventually embarrassed by his own foolishness and apologized profusely.  But I certainly had no desire to interact with him when he was being a fool.  Every wife has to make her own decisions about these things.  You can read more about my experiences after the affair at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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